Ashes, Ashes

September 24, 2008
By Marie McGrath, Pinecrest, FL

I outstretch my hand,
And in my waiting palm you lay me down.
You take yourself, and run, entrusting me with myself,
A mistake.

Ashes fall like snowflakes.
I wake to them, perched and tapping on my window.
I push my panes aside, and suddenly
Each breath is a people that were.
I inhale and fill myself with long forgotten memories;
Mine and theirs.

These bitter snowflakes gather in piles at our feet.
Our children play in them, like piles of fallen leaves in autumn,
Making angels from the ashes, and leaving them
To be taken up by the wind.
All the while their noxious partner fills our lungs,
And with a hacking cough, we expel life.

Or would it be death?

As they flutter from the sky they chant an almost inaudible hymn:
"Remember what you are.
Remember too, what you will be."
This carol is a twinkling melody;
This dirge pulls a shining hearse.

Having had myself handed back to me, I turn, taking a firm grip on who I am,
And leap from the cloud that holds me
To fall through time;
To go swirling, swirling, and singing with the rest.

We All

fall down.

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